Blue Dog Leader Works With Theocratic "Mafia" Opposed to Health Care ReformBlue Dog Democrats in Congress played a "magnificent" role in blocking health care reform during the Clinton administration and now, under the "courageous" and "smart" leadership of House Pro-Life Caucus leader and Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, and with the support and prayers of Republicans categorically opposed to the Democratic Party's health care reform effort, the Blue Dogs may be able to do it again.
That's what Stupak's caucus co-chair Chris Smith (R-NJ) told his audience at a "townhall" panel event last Friday at the Family Research Council Action's Washington DC 2009 Values Voter Summit [see video, below]. Another Republican at the event, Tom Price (R-GA), suggested that lockstep GOP opposition to health care reform affords the Blue Dogs "an opportunity to show some backbone" and "stand up to their leadership to say 'no more will we allow this travesty to go on.'"
Besides leading anti-abortion Democrats in the House, Stupak is a longtime member of the mainly-Republican radical free-market, union-busting theocratic Washington fundamentalist group known as "The Family," which runs the "C Street House" registered as a church where Bart Stupak has enjoyed Christian fellowship and cheap rent for years. Stupak's former "C Street" housemate Senator James DeMint (R-S. Carolina) has vowed to make the fight against health care reform President Barack Obama's "Waterloo".
During Family Research Council Action's over-one hour "townhall" event on health care, featuring a panel of three GOP house representatives that included Smith, Price, and Michele Bachmann (R-Minn), an audience member addressed Representative Smith: It's been said that the main roadblock to this legislation in the House are the Blue Dog Democrats. I actually happen to think it's the pro-life Democrats. And I'm just wondering - I also read on a pro-life blog not long ago -- that Steny Hoyer was apoplectically reaming the pro-life Democrats after a vote sometime ago.
I'm just wondering -- are you all confident that the pro-life Democrats are not going to have their arms twisted by Nancy Pelosi and that they are going to not waver from this and, more specifically, what are you all as Republicans doing to voice solidarity with them -- because I think if there's any group in the Congress right now that needs our prayers it's those courageous pro-life Democrats.
In response Representative Smith gushed: [Bart Stupak] has been absolutely valiant and brave and courageous, and very smart.... the pro-life Democrats, and there are fewer now then when we went through this trial with HillaryCare, and they too, during that difficult time, were magnificent - standing there with an amendment saying that, 'we will not be part of the greatest expansion of abortion in United States history since Roe vs. Wade.' So Bart Stupak, and people like Jim Oberstar from Minnesota, and others, have signed letters to the speaker and to the president saying that they will not vote for ObamaCare unless all the pro-life problems, the pro-abortion problems, have been rectified.
While Stupak, who leads a substantial block of antiabortion Democrats in Congress, has publicly indicated that his support for a health care bill is contingent on preventing federal money from going to pay for abortions, he has co-sponsored, along with his fellow long-time Family member GOP Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA), a health care amendment that would have barred not only publicly but also privately funded abortion coverage in a national health care exchange system: a requirement which would make abortions unavailable to most Americans. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment has been repeatedly blocked by House Democratic Party leadership.
Early in September, Congressman Stupak told the Christian Broadcasting Network that he was "confident" he had the votes, from as many as 39 pro-life House Democrats, to block the current House health care reform bill, H.R. 3200, from coming to the floor. In a video statement to CBN, Stupak refused to commit categorically to a Democrat-sponsored health care bill, citing the possibility it would contain "back door policies."Then, in a Friday, September 16th Fox News interview, Representative Stupak suggested President Barack Obama's assurance that federal funds would not go to finance abortions under a new health care system was a lie, telling Fox "it's just not true."
Stupak's statements also suggest he is opposed to a health care system which acknowledges any basic reproductive rights at all. On Wednesday September 23rd, in an interview for the National Catholic Register, which bills itself as the nation's biggest Catholic pro-life publication, Bart Stupak warned that under public health care options, "At least one dollar of your money will go to supplement reproductive rights or abortion services."
While Stupak has been careful to avoid giving the impression that he is categorically opposed to any health care reform bill, his associates in the powerful, secretive, and anti-democratic Washington Christian fundamentalist association known as The Family, or The Fellowship, have led some of the most virulent opposition to health care reform and especially a "public option".
Bart Stupak has been a longtime resident at The Family's now-infamous "C Street House" that over Summer 2009 became nationally notorious for a trio of sex scandals which enveloped three national GOP politicians who have lived at or been associated with the house. The C Street House provides below market rate rent, is registered as a church, and functions, according to journalist Jeff Sharlet, as an unregistered lobby. Sharlet is author of the 2008 NYT bestelling book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at The Heart of American Power, a heavily researched exploration of the secretive but remarkably influential DC-based international fundamentalist group whose members are known to refer to their association as a "Christian mafia."( Collapse )